Rent your own private island

If you can’t bear to share a beach, why not rent the entire island?

Take a holiday on your own private island. Image credit: Ariara
Take a holiday on your own private island. Image credit: Ariara

You don’t need to be a Bond villain or a lottery winner to enjoy the pleasures of a private island. Just rent one instead. You can revel in going for a stroll along an empty beach, enjoying a dip in your own lagoon, or taking a yacht out for a spin without breaking the bank.

Ronay Island, Scotland – the home of golden eagles

Accommodation nestled within the hills of Ronay Island. Image credit: Ronay Island
Accommodation nestled within the hills of Ronay Island. Image credit: Ronay Island

If you want to feel like lord or lady of the loch, rent Ronay Island in Scotland. This picturesque island in the Outer Hebrides boasts nine lochs and a landscape filled with golden eagles, deer, and grouse. Leave your luggage at your private house that overlooks the coast, then take a walk along the shoreline to spy otters, seals, and even porpoises.

If you’re feeling adventurous you could spend the day rambling through crags and gullies, kayaking along the coastline, or fishing in one of your trout-filled lochs. Or if you’re looking for a more leisurely break, you could enjoy a gourmet picnic in the heather-strewn countryside. Whatever you do, it’s up to you, because there won’t be anyone else there to disturb you.

Sleeps 10. Priced around 1840 USD per week for the entire use of the island.

Isla Del Castillo Del Burguillo, Spain – stay in a castle

The lodgings at Isla del Burguillo. Image credit: Isla del Burguillo
The lodgings at Isla del Burguillo. Image credit: Isla del Burguillo

For fairy-tale settings, the Isla Del Castillo Del Burguillo is hard to beat. This idyllic hideaway ticks every romantic box possible. Not only does this private island feature a castle, but it’s set in the middle of a lake and surrounded by a pine forest. And the fairy-tale romance doesn’t end there. The island’s ivy-covered castle comes complete with a Rapunzel-like tower, which is actually the setting of your bedroom and en-suite bathroom.

Take a speedboat or rowboat to your private Spanish island, then enjoy a romantic stroll along your private beach, a cruise around the lake, and dinner on the terrace under the stars.

Sleeps 10. Priced 1460 USD for one night for the entire use of the island.

Palagruža, Croatia – the island with a Greek legend

Aerial view of Palagruza. Image credit: Palagruza
Aerial view of Palagruža. Image credit: Private Islands Inc.

If you’re looking for adventure, why not rent an island that comes with its own Greek legend? This Mediterranean island, which is set in the Adriatic Sea, was said to have been the home of the Greek hero Diomedes.

Start your adventure by driving from Split to the coast, then enjoy a speedboat ride to Palagruža. Climb the stone stairs to a 19th-century lighthouse that comes with two apartments and jaw-dropping views of the ocean. During the day you can go fishing, enjoy one of the nature trails, or discover an archaeological site along the way.

Sleeps 16. Priced 161 USD for the entire island for one night.

Ariara Island, Philippines – a PADI divemaster on staff

The Beach Cottage bedroom. Image credit Ariara.
The Beach Cottage bedroom. Image credit Ariara

Ariara was named the best private island in the world by Time Magazine and it’s not hard to see why. It really is the last word in luxury.

This 125-acre island south-west of Manila in the Philippines comes with a team of 30 staff who are ready to cater to your every whim. Choose one of the beachfront cottages that come complete with a vaulted ceiling, four-poster bed, and hand-carved marble bathtub.

Take out one of your 12 watercraft and go for a dive with your personal PADI divemaster in the waters that contain not one, but two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Hungry? Dine at the Lodge or ask the butler to arrange for you to have dinner at the end of your private pier.

Sleeps 22. Priced 3600 USD for a two-night minimum stay for two people for use of the entire island.

Isleta El Espino, Nicaragua – a luxe eco-lodge

The view from the pool at Isleta El Espino. Image credit: Isleta El Espino
The view from the pool at Isleta El Espino. Image credit: Isleta El Espino

For castaway chic, look no further than Isleta El Espino in Nicaragua. Found just off the coast from the city of Granada, this private island comes with five lodges that each have an amazing lake view. Want to live out that Robinson Crusoe moment? Then choose the Treetop Rancho, which is a timber villa set on stilts and covered in palm leaves. If you think this means you’re roughing it, think again. The island comes with its own spa that offers massages, facials, manicures, and pedicures.

If you want to stretch out after all that lying down, you can take a class with the island’s yoga guru. There’s also no fear of having to forage for your food. Private chefs serve an array of dishes to you from dawn till dusk, including pancakes served with fresh fruit and local honey, oven-roasted pork ribs in ginger-spice marinade, and a signature chocolate dessert with sea salt.

Sleeps 10. Priced around 557 USD for the entire island for one night.

Thanda Island, Tanzania – the one with whale sharks

A Tanzanian Banda. Image credit: Thanda Island
A Tanzanian Banda. Image credit: Thanda Island

Pinch yourself… No, you’re not dreaming. You really could have this tropical island set in the Indian Ocean all to yourself. You could be relaxing on golden sand or enjoying that cerulean water. Relax in the glamorous main villa or if you want to enjoy the sea breeze choose one of the traditional Tanzanian Bandas set on the beach.

Every part of Thanda Island will belong to you for your stay so you can spend each night in a different villa if you wish. The boathouse is also filled with equipment for you to use when you want to snorkel, swim, or kayak over the colorful coral reef. And a boatman is also on standby to show you around this aquatic playground filled with marine turtles, whale sharks, and tropical fish.

Sleeps up to 18. Priced 125000 USD for the whole island for a five-night stay.

The prices and benefits listed above have been sourced from each company’s website at the time of publication.


Claire Turrell

Freelance journalist Claire Turrell has lived and worked in London, Dubai, and Singapore. When she’s not busy writing, she is riding motorbikes off-road in Cambodia, diving in Oman or learning Muay Thai in Thailand.